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I have 3.5 years experience as a 3d generalist. I model props/environments, rig props/do light character rigging, texture, and write tools to speed up workflow. I've trained and managed others and have come up with pipelines for projects in my studio.
I know it's impossible to say without seeing the quality of my work, but based on that description alone, do i fall under 'entry level' or 'junior level ' artist? What defines each? What defines a senior level artist?
OP here. Sorry i meant to say 3.5 years as a 3d generalist working in a small animation studio in Los Angeles
Copy pasting one for programming, just think in 3D version of this

I would say entry level and Junior are the same thing. They are just out of school and have less than two years of work experience. They are assigned the least complex tasks and should be supervised fairly closely. Generally they know about 10% of what they think they know. Usually they have not been through the whole development cycle and so often make some very naive choices if given the opportunity to choose.

Intermediate level is where many programmers fall. They have more than two years experience and generally less than ten, although some can stay at this level their whole careers. They can produce working code with less supervision as long as they are assigned to relatively routine tasks. They are not generally tasked with high level design or highly complicated tasks that require an in-depth level of knowledge. They may be tasked with the design of a piece of the application though, especially as they are in the zone to become a senior developer.They can usually do a decent job of troubleshooting and debugging, but they have to really slog through to get the hard ones. They are the workhorses of the programming world, they deliver probably 80-90% of the routine code and maybe 10% of the very difficult stuff.

No one who is senior level even needs to ask this question. They are experts in their chosen technology stacks. They are given the hard tasks and often get design responsibilties. They often work independently because they have a proven track record of delivering the goods. They are expected to mentor Junior and intermediate developers. Often they are amazing troubleshooters. They have run into those same problems before and have a very good idea of where to look first. Seniors often mentor outside the workplace as well. They generally have at least ten years of experience and have almost always been on at least one death march and know exactly why some things are to be avoided.
>What defines a senior level artist?
The quality of your work., or how many people actually LIKE it.
Don´t bother post anything in here, trolls will say it is shit even if it´s quality, unless it´s a DAZ nude.
This 'senior', 'junior' and other shitty titles are just excuses to pay you less. Say to your boss that you´re an advanced artist and demand the highest pay in the scale (top senior or whathever the heck) and threat to leave the office to do your own work if they don´t.
They you will see what level you are.
if you want a really good shot at a job and already an established modeler id suggest to get substance designer. i know its alot of money and effort to get into but its the latest in getting environments/materials done within the industry.
3.5 years is probably intermediate. Most people I know who have been in production for more than 2 years and less than 6 are intermediate. Once you pass 6 years you're usually Senior level.
Terrible advice.

This anon gets it.

First of all, you have actual, real life studio experience, which is better than just sitting at home modelling stuff, and with what you have described, that would make you intermediate, or, let's just say 'artist', without the junior or senior. I can't tell of course what is the quality of your management skills, but the fact is that you've done it and you very likely had the opportunity to learn from any mistakes you've made. That counts for a lot.

If an 'entry level' artist exist at all, it would be called an intern. Someone young, still in school, just starting out and with only the most basic skills.

At the studio where I work we actually use a guideline doc describing the soft and hard skills you need to have at each level, so I can have a sneak peek at it tomorrow, but what I can tell you is that the major skill that gets you to the top (besides being very good artistically) is communication.

Communication means:

- talking with devs and project management, being aware of what is needed, forseeing problems, offering solutions.
- making sure that all the artists are on the same page and working well together. Assign tasks, provide feedback, set the standard and make sure it is kept.
- guiding junior artists, teaching them, keeping an eye on them and solve problems or recommending them for promotion.
- being able to talk about art on a high level. Not just about skills and techniques, but understanding the intricacies of visual communication and being able to express complex concepts clearly.
- working with outsourcing studios or freelancers, creating style guides and various other documentation.
- etc, etc.

and all these things, in a diplomatic, positive way. Being fair, honest and understanding of different personalities and cultural backgrounds.
I high 9 years in a month from now. I do modeling and surfacing with production management under my belt. And in ads, tv and movies, personal work is game stuff.

I just was offered lead on 2 half hour movies. Turning it down to get Sr. On a way better project across the country.

Be dependable. Always learn everything you can. You are never the best so don't act like it. ( cough, ubisoft, cough ) leadership skills and being effectirnt is whqt takes you to the 6 figure pay range.
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